Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moses and Joshua- God's Appointed Leaders


There is much to glean from the two leadership roles of Moses and Joshua.  They were both chosen by God for an overwhelming task but under the leadership of God himself, they were both chosen and qualified.  Through these lives, God can teach lessons on authority and submission to authority.  This brief look into their roles is helpful to anyone in any leadership capacity or anyone who desires to lead in the future.

First God appointed Moses to lead the children of Israel to the promised land and on the eastern side of the Jordan River, Moses defeated kings and distributed inheritance.  God told Moses he could see into the promised land on the western side of the Jordan but could not go through, and that he was appointing Joshua to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan and into the promised land.

In all cases and in all places God was the true leader!

Exodus 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

God appointed Moses to lead and promised his presence would go with them. The true leader was God! As long as any leader is submitted to God's leadership they will be leading in God's direction! 

Exodus 32:34 Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you.

After Moses time was over, Joshua was appointed by God to lead the way.  He wasn't chosen by a vote or by a rebellion.  He was chosen by God.  The outstanding characteristic of Joshua during the leadership period of Moses was that Joshua was submissive to both Moses and God.  Joshua did whatever he was asked to do. He did not bring any evil report when told to spy out the promised land, but rather recognized God was greater and stronger than any threat and would do just as he had promised. He was fearless in battle and last but not least he craved, followed and spent time in the presence of God!  It was Joshua's time of maturing under Moses' leadership that brought him to the time and place that God chose Joshua to take up the baton in Moses' place! The bible says it is required in stewards that a man is found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2.) During Joshua's time of following, he was proven to be a faithful follower!  Joshua was therefore appointed as leader over Israel under God!  There may have been other faithful followers that were just as qualified but God's choice for the task was Joshua.  Each individual person has an appointed task at any given time and place whether leading or following but the requirements are the same- faithfulness and submission! 

This is the passage where Moses after hearing from God announces Joshua as the next leader:

Deuteronomy 31: 1 Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ 3 The LORD your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the LORD has said. 4 And the LORD will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them. 5 The LORD will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  7 Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

The key ingredients that can be gleaned from this short look into their lives are:

  • God leads the way
  • God chooses the leader
  • Leaders must follow the presence of God
  • Leaders must crave the presence of God
  • Leaders must obey the voice of God
  • Followers must follow the leader
  • To be a leader you must first follow
  • The appointed time for followers to lead comes in God's timing

Be blessed today as we all grow in submission and authority! Amen!

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